It’s been decades since I first saw Flash Gordon in the movie theater as a kid and to this day I am loathe to reach my arm into someplace I haven’t thoroughly inspected.Â I still go through this circus every day when I need to check my mailbox. Each time I reach my arm into that dark recess I thoroughly expect to feel a sting and pull my arm out dripping with green goo only to ask Timothy Dalton to run me through with a sword and spare me the madness.
But I think there is a bigger, more symbolic meaning here.Â Remember as a kid when the mail was the coolest thing ever? I would race to the mailbox to get my catalogs from Sears, Toys R Us, Service Merchandise, Cabelas, Gander Mountain, etc. and pour over them for hours looking at all the cool things they offered and I couldn’t afford.Â One day I’ll be able to order whatever I want, I thought, and my wife will be one of those girls in the Cabelas catalogs who sits around in her flannel pajamas and sips hot tea with honey from a giant Cabelas mug in front of the fire.
But as life wore on and many of the delights from childhood faded and soured, mail became its antithesis.Â Now instead of joy, it delivered a merciless sting: an endless parade of bills, collection agents, tax notices, registration and license renewals, and the ugly faces of pandering politicians at election time.Â Timothy Dalton said: “Death is certain, but only after tortured madness. (“How long?”) Hours. days, depending on your strength.”Â If that isn’t an allegory for how life wears us down, I don’t know what is.
P.S. Please feel free to use the attached picture I made of my actual mailbox (No Prince Barin’s were harmed in the making of this picture.)
Thanks for this excellent traumafession! I relate to it and I’m a forever Flash Gordon fan! Thank you too for the evidence/photo on the bottom of the post. That made my day!
PS. Once upon a time I did a gallery of trauma-shots from Flash Gordon! Check it out here:
Ooh, I remember that Flash Gordon trauma-shots collection. The one missing stand-out for me was the spider/crab-legged swamp-beast that rose from the ground and tried to ingest Flash.
That is a whole separate Traumafession that has given me a life-long repulsion and fear of full Hefty trash-bags. I wish I was kidding…
Oh yeah that spider thing was as gross as it was terrifying! Don’t know why I skipped it. I think it was difficult to get a good image of.
Watched the doc “Life After Flash” and loved it. Can never get enough of that movie!
It wasn’t visually explicit, but the scene of Dr. Zarkoff having his mind probed and wiped also freaked me out as a kid, along with the other scenes already mentioned. Just on implication and the freaky montage of the doctor’s memories being replayed on a video screen.
On a related note (being another movie inspired by Star Wars’s success), The Black Hole (from Disney, no less) also had some scenes of major kindertrauma.
I haven’t wanted to re-watch Star Wars in many years (watched much too many times growing up), but I’ll happily re-watch Flash Gordon.
Agree! Zarkoff’s memories are pretty disturbing. Especially when his wife dies in the pool!
I just re-watched THE BLACK HOLE and love that one too. It’s almost darker to me now than when I was a kid. Speaking of mind wipes- I suddenly realized how tragic the fate of the crew was to be turned into those zombie-like “humanoids”. And of course, that ending is incredible!
To this day I have dreams inspired by The Black Hole. Even though I am educated enough to know that Disney’s black holes don’t work like real black holes, that final scene cannot be erased from my subconscious, apparently.